Bye Bye Batwoman

My friend Hisham loaned me a couple issues of Greg Rucka’s Detective Comics: Batwoman run, and after reading through, I decided this series might be a gateway into the DC comics superhero world. I actually started scanning the interwebs for news of a series devoted to Kate Kane.

Sadly – this is not to be. At least not a version penned by Greg Rucka.

Many of you might have already heard – Greg Rucka has left DC Comics. Not just the Detective Comics series – he is dropping any books he was writing for them. Here is a post from his website explaining his reasons.

This follows quickly on the heels of my learning last week that the Spider-Woman series will be limited to only seven issues, as Alex Maleev, the artist is unable to continue with the demands of the motion-comic and the physical product. But Bendis assures us she’ll be in Avengers. Doesn’t that make you want to run out and pick up a copy?

Not me. Not really. If my post last week didn’t clarify my reservations about getting into female superhero comics, the blows dealt to heroines in the last month should help reinforce my hesitation. Not only are superheroes complicated investments of time and money, but the female-centric books are cancelled after brief stints, despite popularity, awards, steady sales and accolades heaped on them.

It’s sad to think that women may only fair well as characters in an alternate universe where we have equal standing with men. Perhaps my disillusion with superhero comic books these last few weeks is merely a symptom of my greater disillusionment with gender inequality in society.

It’s hard to blame dudes like Bendis and Rucka for trying  to bring fully realized female characters into the spotlight. It’s not their fault they can’t rewrite reality.

But women aren’t asking male comic book writers to magically gift us equality, we’re simply requesting women characters with as much intelligence, strength and intrigue as men. We want women who are strong, like the mothers, sisters, daughters, aunts, grandmothers, co-workers, and friends that surround us.

The kind of equality I seek is not in completely abolishing the unique aspects of gender that make men and women different. Those elements help create personality and character depth. What most comic books need is a writer who can create human beings with depth, nuances and character struggles. And then make an equal number of these human beings female.

Lastly it’s up to the artists to clothe them properly.

It’s a simple formula, but one that takes an incredible amount of work. It requires that you respect the experiences and viewpoints of people with whom you do not share the same sex. It might also require more females writing comic books. Sadly, it seems that none of these are things DC or Marvel or many of the smaller publishers want to commit their resources to.

That’s fine – I’ll commit my time and money to those who do.

LINK LOVE:

This dude gets it.

An article about writing strong characters, who also happen to be female.

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About tinyheroes

Mindy Crouchley is a 33 year old woman with a degree in English and Technical Writing from Portland State University. She has accumulated three+ years experience in the Marketing and Communications field - with an emphasis on creating digital media content. She has been reading comic books since she was 10 years old. She currently lives in outer southeast Portland with her spouse Dan Robertson, her baby girl, and their dog - Jabba the pug. She spends her free time devouring books, crafting cosplay, video gaming, attending comic cons, writing stories/screenplays, attending book to film adaptation club meetings, volunteering, and watching copious amounts of TV and movies.

6 responses to “Bye Bye Batwoman”

  1. C. J. Vera says :

    I recommend you read everything by Gail Simone, especially Wonder Woman and Birds of Prey. Watch the Wonder Woman animated movie as well. I think it would work just as well as a live action movie. Also read Ed Brubaker and Will Pfeifer’s respective Catwoman runs for a heroine who has suffered some of the worst physical, psychological, and emotional torment anyone could possibly go through , and she still comes off conqueror. Even in Gotham city Sirens with an essential “dumb blonde” in Harley Quinn, and a sexpot seductress in Poison Ivy, you know not to mess with Catwoman. Her Blackest Night issue continues to show her resilience. There’s also Zatanna with her own series for, possibly the very first time. The Birds of Prey are coming back. Pepper Potts joins the Iron Clan as Recsue in the Marvel Universe, as a matter of fact there is a “Women of Marvel” event going on at Marvel for the spring pointing out all the Women that have made Marvel Comics great. The “Manhunter” second feature continues till June, then who knows where the character will continue after that. Plus there’s Supergirl, Batgirl, and the female characters in Justice League, Justice Society, Teen Titans, and all other team books with heroines like Donna Troy, Doctor Light, Wonder Girl, Katana, Sinestro’s Daughter Soranik Natu in the Green Lantern Corp. There is spinoff potential for most of DC’s heroines. Plus I don’t even know how many female characters in the Marvel universe. There are plenty of strong, modestly dressed women in comics if you know where to look. So don’t worry about the dwindling presence of positive female role models in comics just because Greg is leaving Batwoman, the character he practically created. I do admit I am bummed as well. No one else could tell the stories of Kate Kane and Renee Montoya like he could. But because he’s leaving doesn’t mean the age of Gender equality is coming to an end. It’s only the beginning…

    • tinyheroes says :

      I’ve definitely been intrigued by some of the Catwoman artwork, and could probably be persuaded to come over to her camp. I’ve tried a few times with Wonder Woman, but can’t seem to pick up the vibe. Even though Greek Mythology should be a slam-dunk.

      Harley Quinn was my favorite character on the Animated Batman Series as a kid, and I’ve heard internet rumblings about her being a pretty strong character in her own right.

      And glad to see you mentioned Pepper Potts! She had a few “refrigerator” moments in her history, but it seems the Ironman film franchise has helped revamp her character and bring it to the spotlight. It’s great that she’s not becoming a damsel-in-distress, and it would be AWESOME if they included Rescue in the film franchise. They need to do something useful with the acting talents of Gwenyth Paltrow.

      Thanks for reading and posting!

  2. Michael says :

    Nice entry! Totally agree with your points.

    As I just typed up my reviews for the week (publishes tomorrow) I’m wondering where Buffy fits in all of this for you; have you watched the show? Are you reading the comics?

    I LOVE the Buffy mythos, but I know that there are some differing views out there – notably Amber Benson.

    • tinyheroes says :

      I’ve watched all the seasons of the show, and am a Buffy-ophile. I have been reading through the comic books, in fact – just finished the Predators and Prey arch of the Joss Whedon penned Season Eight. So far some of the stories have been hit or miss for me, and the pacing seems a bit all over the place. However, Buffy will always be the female heroine that I compare all others too.

      She feels like the most real woman/superhero I’ve ever encountered. She managed to retain her identity as female, kick-ass and deal deftly with the responsibilities being a Slayer foisted on her.

      Never once did I feel like she was “a man with boobs.” I can’t really say the same for a lot of the comic books I currently read. :\ I feel like Rucka and Peter David are the male writers that come the closest to capturing the female perspective and fully fleshing them out, while not baring their flesh and respecting their characters as people.

      My favorite series right now is Stumptown – a Rucka book published through Oni Press. I’m also enjoying getting caught up on “Fallen Angel” by Peter David published through IDW. Tried out his She-Hulk and it just didn’t sit well with me. A friend criticized him for being too meta, and now I can’t stop noticing it. :\

      Looking forward to your post!

  3. Hisham says :

    I really thought that Batwoman was going to be picked up in her own series 😦

    At least now Rucka will have more time to finish up the last Whiteout series.

    And there’s also his Queen and Country series with SIS agent Tara Chace.

    • tinyheroes says :

      Funny you should mention Queen and Country – I’m about halfway through the first volume, which has three different operations in it. It’s good reading, which is saying something about Rucka’s writing style, because I normally don’t go for spy-thriller stuff. But Tara Chace is definitely pulling me through.

      It’s great that he’s returning to Whiteout – there’s enough there for a trilogy. 🙂

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